France to start Fofana, Debaty

France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has named his match 22 for the team’s Six Nations opener against Italy this weekend.

Saint-Andre will begin his tenure against the Azzurri in Paris on Saturday. He has made five changes to the team that lost to the All Blacks in the World Cup final, with the highlight selections seeing inside centre Wesley Fofana set to make his Test debut while loosehead prop Vincent Debaty will get his second international cap. Debaty last featured for Les Bleus in 2006.

Wing Julien Malzieu also makes a return to the Test team after a year-long absence.

France – 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Fran├žois Trinh-Duc, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Vincent Debaty.
Subs: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Yoann Maestri, 19 Imanol Harinordoquy, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Maxime Mermoz.